I have consumed my fair share of Canadian cannabis over the years, and I definitely have always been a fan. I have also always been a fan of medical marijuana programs that allow home cultivation. If a patient (or someone they know) has the resources, knowledge, and ability to grow their own medicine, they should be allowed to do so. Growing ones own cannabis not only helps a patient save money, but it gives the patient the ability to grow the exact kind of medicine that helps them the most.
Once upon a time Canada did not allow medical marijuana patients to grow their own medicine, and instead required patients to purchase all of their medical marijuana from licensed cultivators. That lead to a lot of large corporations taking over the medical marijuana cultivation industry in Canada for a time, although do to a legal injunction, some patients were allowed to cultivate medical marijuana in the interim, but that was a very limited population size. That all changed with a recent court decision in Canada, which ruled that the ban on medical marijuana cultivation by patients was illegal. The Canadian government was then given six months to come up with a plan to regulate patient cultivation. Those that were part of the earlier injunction could continue growing, all other patients can start growing after the six month deadline per the court ruling.
So how do Canadians feel about the court ruling in favor of home cultivation? A recent poll by Forum Research found the following:
In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll among 1567 Canadian voters, including 582 who have used marijuana or cannabis in the past, well more than half approve of the federal court ruling which struck down the prohibition against medical marijuana users growing their own (56%). Just more than one third disapprove of this decision (35%) and one tenth don’t have an opinion (9%). Approval of the ruling is characteristic of the youngest (67%), the least wealthy (often a proxy for youth – 60%) and those in mid income groups ($40K to $80K – 60%), in Atlantic Canada 64%) and in BC (65%), among Liberals (64%) and New Democrats (66%), and even among one third of Conservatives (36%), among mothers of children under 18 (60%), among those who have used marijuana in the past (73%) and among the best educated (post grad – 62%).
There is a big push in Canada right now to legalize recreational marijuana. It’s something that Canada’s current Prime Minister campaigned on, and promised he would work on immediately when getting into office. It has been slow going, but legalizing marijuana on a national level in an international community is not exactly an easy task. That’s not to say that delays should be tolerated, but that also needs to be balanced with expectations that involve a degree of patience. This same poll found that 48% of respondents would support home cultivation as part of recreational marijuana reform, with 42% saying they would oppose such a policy measure.